Friday 2 July 2010

Keeping It Native

This Meadow Cranesbill is flowering non stop at the moment. It's a gorgeous colour and as you can see there are many more buds yet to open. It was planted last year in my wildlife border. I used a number of native plants in the border in order to attract beneficial insects to the garden. Native wildlife is best adapted to native plants for food and shelter, so by adding native plants to your garden you will attract more wildlife. I have seen an increase in the varieties, as well as the number of bees and butterflies visiting the garden since last year so the border has worked well. If you would like to know which other plants were used, they are all listed in my post from April last year.

We've had three full trugs of strawberries so far this week, that equates to about fifteen pounds. There will be more to pick today too. I can see that we're going to have to make some jam in order to use them all up. We had a treat on Wednesday evening and melted a bar of chocolate, in to which we dipped some strawberries, delicious but naughty.

There'll be no sweetcorn for us this year. I never planted them out as they seemed to go yellow and stopped growing. Last year's were a disaster too. They were planted out but only grew to about a foot high. I'm wondering now if it's to do with growing them in toilet roll inners. Last year was the first time I'd done this, and they'd always grown well in previous years. I think next year I'll try growing them in plantpots as I have done previously without any problems and see how I go.

My second cucumber is now ready for taking from the plant and there are four courgettes on one plant which will also be ready for harvesting. More tomatoes are growing, and the beans are climbing their wigwams. The early potatoes are being harvested from their containers, and the ones planted at the allotment should be ready. Even the onions and shallots which were planted really late seem to be coming on ok, though I haven't grown them before so I can't really tell if they're doing well or not. On the other hand, the leeks and squash are still waiting to go out, there's nowhere dug over for them yet. Most of the brassicas wilted and died. This happened last year too, I just can't seem to grow them from seed, though a few seem to have made it. The weeds aren't just threatening to take over anymore, they're actually doing it. I really must spend more time down there.


  1. AnonymousJuly 02, 2010

    Do you grow courgettes in the greenhouse? It sounds like they are growing pretty quickly.
    Strawberry jam - it’s the best!

  2. You sound just like how i'm feeling, there is nowhere for my courgettes and squash to go yet either, and the weeds are growing faster than i can pull them. There just aren't enough hours in the day once everything gets moving.

  3. there never is enough time to do it all. glad your strawberries are still going great guns.

  4. All this fruit picking and watering leaves little timne for anything else and so the weeds think it's holiday time!!

  5. Meadow cranesbill is one of my favourite flowers at this time of year.

  6. AnonymousJuly 03, 2010

    I'm always looking at the plants in my wildlife areas to see if they're native ones!
    It's sure been a good year for strawberries.
    I don't think that my sweetcorn will be much good this year either although I do have some growing.
    Harvested my first potatoes and carrots today!
    Why is it that weeds grow well regardless of the weather!
    Happy plotting, and weeding! Flighty xx

  7. Wow youre strawbs are doing really well! I now what you mean about weeding though - how do these people with super neat plots do it! Love your blog by the way - very inspirational.

  8. That's a great idea Jo to plant native species. It's been a great year for strawberries, we're in our fifth week of picking from about a dozen plants in total, they just keep going!

  9. My courgettes are planted out at the allotment, Vrtlarica. I grew one in a container last year, but have never grown them in the greenhouse. They're doing really well.

    We can only do what we have time for, Happy Plotter. Everything else will get done when we find the time, or else it won't get done at all, but we'll manage. I'm trying not to stress too much about everything that's waiting for my attention.

    The strawberries are still producing, Steph. I can't believe what a huge harvest we've had.

    You're right, Green Lane Allotments. The problem is that we do go on holiday soon and then the weeds really will make a bid for supremacy.

    I love Meadow Cranesbill too, Vegetable Heaven. It's smothered in blooms at the moment.

    Fingers crossed for your sweetcorn, Flighty. I'm so disappointed that I won't have any this year, it's so yummy picked fresh. Hope the potatoes and carrots tasted good, I emptied another potato container yesterday and they were delicious.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a lovely comment, Freerangegirl. My plot is definitely not super neat, but it still gives us plenty of fresh veggies.

    The native species definitely encourage beneficial insects to the garden, Damo. I've seen so many more types of butterlies and bees visiting since the border was planted up. This year has been great for strawberries, even after the late frosts caught the first flowers.

  10. I know exactly what you mean by the weeds...i spend a few hours weeding and think how well I have done...then I turn around!!

    I am still trying to get the the side of the allotment dug over after being presented with such a terrible mess and this eats into weeding time....I haven't had too much luck with brassicas either...maybe it's just the year for it.

    However this is my first success year for sweetcorn...I sowed in pots so if I was you I should go back to that too.

    I still have no cucumbers....the marrow, pumpkin and courgette are doing well but the cucumbers are very slow this year.

    Good luck with the weeds and your flowers are beautiful.

  11. Jo, I love that cranesbill; such a beautiful blue. I grow as many natives as possible for the same reasons you give. You have some great produce there. Most of my veggies are coming along nicely, in spite of the extreme heat and no rain for about a month... It's amazing how the weeds keep growing, even when everything else is frying. Pam x

  12. Jo, beautiful capture of the Cranesbill. You've reminded me of my oft-overlooked intention to plant some wildflowers around my guarden. Though I suspect its getting a little late for that! I am sorry to hear abou the sweetcorn, though - it's one of my favorite vegetables and I hate to hear of an ear that didn't make it. But it sounds like you'll be making up for it with strawberries - lucky you!

  13. Thanks, Tanya. I'm sure it's the same for everyone with the weeds, they seem to want to grow whatever the weather throws at them. I envy your sweetcorn, home grown is so delicious.

    I've found that native flowers are so pretty too, Pam. They're so understated which I like, as well as being good for the wildlife.

    The strawberries have done brilliantly this year, Monica. I will miss the sweetcorn though, it really is one vegetable which tastes different when it's so fresh.


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